After a surprising appearance in the Western Conference Finals last season, the Denver Nuggets are expected to be more aggressive in improving their roster this fall. In order to boost their chances of fully dominating the loaded Western Conference and capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season, the Nuggets need additional star power around Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. One of the dream trade targets for the team this offseason is All-Star shooting guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets.
The idea of the Nuggets’ trading for Harden appeared in a recent article by Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. Schrock believes it would be a nightmare for the Golden State Warriors if the Nuggets succeed to form a “formidable Big Three” of Harden, Murray, and Jokic in the 2020 offseason.
“The one place the Warriors shouldn’t want to see Harden go is Denver. The Nuggets bested the Clippers in seven games in the Western Conference semifinals but were outclassed by the Los Angeles Lakers. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic are great players but the Nuggets are in need of a star who can carry the load down the stretch in a playoff game,” Schrock wrote. “The Nuggets could deal Jerami Grant, Gary Harris, Bol Bol and draft picks to land Harden and have a formidable big three. Michael Porter Jr. might have to go back in the deal, but the Nuggets surely will try to hang onto him.”
If they mesh well on the court, the “Big Three” of Harden, Murray, and Jokic would definitely be a nightmare for the Warriors, especially if they face each other in a best-of-seven series. The backcourt duo of Murray and Harden is capable of matching the Splash Brothers’ offensive firepower, while the absence of a starting-caliber center in Golden State would allow Jokic to feast under the basket.
Acquiring a former MVP like Harden could change the fate of Denver in the 2020-21 NBA season. He would give them one of the best active scorers in the league. Last season, he once again posted monster numbers, averaging 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Adding “The Beard” to their roster would tremendously improve their offensive efficiency that ranks No. 8 in the league scoring 110.1 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. The potential arrival Harden would force Murray and Jokic to make huge adjustments with their game. However, as of now, both young stars shouldn’t mind being demoted as Denver’s second and third fiddle as long as it could give them a better chance of winning the NBA championship title next year.